“Why is any day better than another,
when all the daylight in the year is from the sun?
By the Lord’s decision
they were distinguished,
and He appointed the different seasons and feasts.
Some of them He exalted and hallowed,
and some of them He made ordinary days.”
Ecclesiasticus (also called Sirach) 33:7-9
Feasting reminds me of Henry VIII.
When I was a kid, my mom loved to roast giant turkey legs. All five children in my family would sit around the table and pretend to be the rotund English ruler with the voracious appetite. It felt completely decadent to wield a giant wand of meat in our small hands. Truly, I think my mom bought them because it was a cheap way to feed a large family. We did not know any different and felt richer for the drama we created, pretending to be royalty presiding over our feast.
Summer feels like the natural time to think of feasting. With the abundance of fresh foods, beautiful weather, and long evenings it is the perfect combination for celebrating. One of my favorite scriptures on this idea is from Proverbs 15:15, “the cheerful heart has a continual feast.”
If that is true, then it means we have the opportunity to feast every single day, not just when it is summer or a special occasion. It is the heart with which we approach life that makes it the feast. It is not necessarily the ingredients of the meal or the important occasions, but the mindset through which we see our days. Truly, in the Bible, God reminds us to feast with the gift of a weekly day of rest and the Sabbath celebration.
If we are living well, we can extend this idea to homeschooling. A friend of mine described the homeschooling experience akin to laying out “a beautiful banquet of ideas” for our children. Our job as parents is to present the best and most soul-filling dishes, making them attractive and appealing to the senses and the spirit. We are designing a beautiful buffet for the mind, body, and soul. Much like our faith, our children take in what they are ready for, as they are ready for it.
More than creating an opulent table for the mind, my hope is to carry the heart and the attitude of the feast. Presenting incredible books to read, excellent mind-enriching resources, and the Bible as our core are absolutely vital. However, the heart and passion in which we serve our feast is equally important. The cheerful heart needs to be the way we begin, our very first course.
My tendency is to first consider what is missing from the homeschooling feast. If only I had more time, more energy, a math tutor, less laundry. If only I were smarter, did better in high school, paid attention in algebra class, or were healthier, I would be so much more equipped to do homeschooling. Further, I consider feasting something enjoyed at the end of the journey, when all is checked off. In this way, I am like the guests at the “Parable of the Great Banquet” found in Luke 14 (verses 15-24). All of the guests invited to the king’s feast made excuses about how they were too busy or too occupied to take time for the feast.
I believe that if we see the homeschooling experience as a feast of truth, beauty, and goodness for our families, that is exactly what we will create. I see how purposeful, tiny efforts of doing the everyday things build up over time. I know having a cheerful heart, even when I am exhausted, can make all the difference.
So let us set an amazing table together. Let us decide in our hearts and in our minds that the year ahead will be a beautiful feast. Maybe your feast will be simple with delicious soup and bread or maybe your feast will be loaded with extravagance and wonder. However my feast ends up, I will trust that it will be perfect and just as the Lord intended. I will trust in my weakness that the Lord can be made strong. I will remember that our children are God’s children first and He is going to equip them perfectly.
Let us break bread and lavish our families with God’s abundance this day and in all the days we are given.
How will you feast this week?
Read Luke 14:15-24
This week, how will you feast on all that God has given you?
Consider keeping the Sabbath in a special way this week with a sacred family feast. Light candles, use the good china and linens, celebrate communion, and sing praises to our Father for the feast He gives.
Today I want to feast in You.
Lord, please create in me a cheerful heart so that I may have a continual feast.
When I am fearful, overwhelmed, or feeling blue, will You show me how You see me and my efforts?
Will You create in me the mindset of Your abundant love?
Thank You for the feast of summer and the Sabbath when we can pause to celebrate.
I pray that I will be so full of Your love, that I cannot help but pour out into all that I do this day and into all the days You give me.